Words

Rainbow Roundup

Step out for Bellingham Pride

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A few years ago, on a visit to my former hometown, a longtime friend I hadn’t seen in awhile told me she had “something big” to tell me.

I knew she’d recently broken up with her husband, but I didn’t know why. As we drove to her condo for dinner, she nervously blurted out the news. “I’m gay,” she said, purposefully avoiding eye contact (and not just because she was the one driving).

“Oh, and I’m living with my girlfriend,” she continued. “You’ll meet her in a few minutes.”

I’m not sure how my friend expected I’d react to the news, but when I asked “Are you happy?” and she vigorously nodded her assent, that was all I needed to know.

You see, the fact that she was gay wasn’t what surprised me. What I found shocking was that my friend had spent decades not living as her authentic self. She claimed she hadn’t realized she was a lesbian until falling for a coworker, but past behavior—a suicide attempt in high school, marital therapy related to what she attributed to a low sex drive, the fact that she always had boyfriends but never wanted to gossip about them the way the rest of her peers did—made me wonder if she’d just been in denial. If so, I was relieved she’d discovered the door to the closet and finally stepped through it.

Fast forward to 2017, and my friend is out and proud. She attends Pride marches, posts pictures of her and her current girlfriend on Facebook, works a demanding job as an educator, and helps raise two sons with her ex-husband.

The point of describing my buddy’s journey is to illustrate that a person’s sexuality doesn’t define what kind of human being they are, and that it’s never too late to make big life changes to ensure your future happiness.

At this week’s Bellingham Pride festival—which is billed as the second-largest pride event in the state, and hosts approximately 10,000 participants annually—inclusiveness and acceptance will be the cornerstone of the events that will take place July 7-9 at a variety of locales.

As part of the “Gender Trouble: A Queer Art Showcase” exhibit at Make.Shift Art Space, Friday night’s Art Walk event will kick off festivities at 8:30pm with an all-ages Queer Prom. From 12-3pm Saturday, the Pride Family Picnic at Maritime Heritage Park will focus on fun for the whole tribe. At 7pm that night, the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Evergreen Empire will host its annual Bellingham Pride Drag Show at Rumors Cabaret.

Sunday will be an all-day affair, from a fundraising Pride Breakfast at Homeskillet to the noontime Pride Parade starting at the corner of Halleck and Ohio streets, to the Pride Festival taking place from 12-4pm at the Depot Market Square.

During the weekend of rainbow-hued activities, remember that the agenda of the 18-year-old event is to bring people together and celebrate not just the way we’re all different, but also the ways we’re all the same—whether we’re gay, straight, bisexual, transgender or somewhere in between.

“Our goal at Bellingham Pride is to cultivate and preserve a safe and healthy community for LGBTQ-plus folks and their families to live, work, grow and thrive,” organizers say. “We want to celebrate the diversity of human life, promote equal rights, increase the visibility of the LGBTQ community, and have fun doing it.”

SVCR Aaron Neville
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Events
Today
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

I and You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

North Cascades Vintage Fly-In

12:00pm|Concrete

Mission Folk Music Festival

12:00pm|Fraser River Heritage Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Pop-Up Beer Garden

3:00pm|Fairhaven

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

The Drowsy Chaperone

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition

10:00am|Birch Bay Community Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Farm to Glass Distillery Tours

12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Vietnam Veterans Car Show

10:00am|Barkley Village

Forest Walk

11:00am|Fairhaven Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Brewers by the Bay

1:00pm|Depot Market Square

La Conner Live!

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

MBT Open House

2:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Fiddlin' Fox Summer Concert Series

2:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Angels in America

2:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Trivia Night

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Marrowstone Music Festival

7:00pm|Western Washington University

Mousetrap Auditions

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Trove
Tomorrow
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Mousetrap Auditions

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Marrowstone Music Festival

7:00pm|Western Washington University

Emerging Artists Teen Camp

9:00am|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Lion King Camp

10:00am|Lincoln Theatre

Kids Can Cook

12:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Nature in Your Neighborhood

12:30pm|The Oasis

Dig Into Fall

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Eat Your Weeds

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Addams Family Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Trove Lester and Hyldahl
Tuesday
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Marrowstone Music Festival

7:00pm|Western Washington University

Addams Family Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Teens Can Cook

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Readers Theatre Shakespeare Camp

12:00pm|Ferndale Library

BIFT

6:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Sunset History Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Float Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

The Art of Rappelling

6:00pm|REI

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

see our complete calendar »

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